Back to All News

Hunt breaks promise to protect whales - hasn't the guts to face down Abbott Cabinet colleagues over environment

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 23 Dec 2013

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens spokesperson for whaling and fisheries, has called on Greg Hunt to resign his ministerial position saying the Environment Minister doesn't have the guts or integrity to stand up for his own convictions, let alone our whales or the environment.

“For the last six years Greg Hunt has been, outside of Greens MPs, this parliament’s biggest anti-whaling activist,” said Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

"Two weeks before the election Greg Hunt backed years of strong anti-whaling rhetoric by committing the Coalition to sending a Customs vessel to the Southern Ocean should Japanese whalers again head for the killing grounds.

"This clear election promise has been broken, cynically snuck in late on a Sunday afternoon a few days before Christmas.

"I'm sure Greg Hunt, like many Australians, feels strongly about stopping the slaughter of our whales in the Southern Ocean but, unlike most, he is actually in a position to do something about it.

"He has clearly been rolled by members of the Abbott Cabinet and has failed the public who believed his long standing election promise to send a Customs vessel to the Southern Ocean - the strongest possible action to prevent illegal whaling.

"Sending a plane is a weak and ineffective backdown designed to score a quick political fix and avoid any diplomatic incident with Japanese whalers illegally hunting in the Southern Ocean.

"How can a plane provide around the clock monitoring of the whaling fleet?

"And if customs officers are able to view illegal activity or need to take action to save lives at sea how can they intervene from an Airbus at altitude?

"Greg Hunt should resign his ministerial position as he doesn't have the guts or integrity to stand up for his own convictions, let alone our whales or the environment," concluded Senator Whish-Wilson.

----- ENDS ------

Media contact: Thomas Moore - 0409164603

Back to All News